Bereavement Support Payments and Widowed Parent’s Allowance used to only available to married couples and those in civil partnerships – but now unmarried couples can make a claim
Thousands of bereaved parents are being urged to check if they can claim benefits worth up to £9,800 today before a deadline expires.
Bereavement Support Payment used to only available to married couples and those in civil partnerships. But the rules have now been updated so that couples who were living together and have dependent children – but were not married – can now make a claim.
If you were in an unmarried couple and you’ve sadly lost your partner, you may be able to backdate your claim – but you’ll need to do this by midnight tonight (February 8, 2024). You can still apply up until November 8, 2024, but you may not get the full amount.
Bereavement Support Payment is worth a maximum of £9,800. To be entitled to a backdated claim, your partner must have died between April 6, 2017, and February 8, 2023. You must also have been entitled to Child Benefit and were under state pension age when your partner died.
You don’t necessarily have to had been claiming Child Benefit – for example, if you’re a higher rate taxpayer – just entitled to it. You can still apply for backdated payments up until November 8, 2024, but you will not get the full amount.
If your partner died after February 9, 2023, the new rules for cohabiting couples will now apply to you anyway, as this is when the eligibility criteria was expanded. If your partner died within the last 21 months and you didn’t have children, but you were married or in a civil partnership, you may be eligible to claim a lower amount of Bereavement Support Payment worth £4,300.
Bereavement Support Payment is an updated version of Widowed Parent’s Allowance, which was available if a partner passed away between April 9, 2001 and April 5, 2017. However, you can only apply for backdated Widowed Parent’s Allowance by paper form and this needs to be sent by post.
In order to qualify for either payments, your partner must have either paid a certain number of National Insurance contributions, or died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work.